Sitka Conservation Society

Threats to the Tongass

Most of the oldest and largest trees on the Tongass were cut in the decades following World War II, but patches of old growth do remain and may never be safe from danger.  The Sitka Conservation Society strives to protect the remaining old growth and advocate for wise and sustainable development of the forest as a whole.  Timber sales on federal land can result in substantial road building and habitat loss, yet, in recent years, a greater danger has come at the hands of private Native Corporations.  Pending federal legislation would transfer thousands of acres of federal land on the Tongass to the private Sealaska Corporation.  This land includes some of the largest remaining old growth, which could well be logged within a decade.

Sealaska Corporation Land Privatization Bill

Pending federal legislation could result in the privatization of some of the most ecologically important places on the Tongass National Forest.   While the Sitka Conservation Society supports the fulfillment of promises made under Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act, we are concerned about some areas poised for selection under the Sealaska legislation.  To that end, we have been advocating that certain ecologically critical selections be removed from the legislation and that safeguards are attached to other selections to guarantee continued public access and use of the land.

Climate Change

SCS is keeping a close watch on how climate change affects the Tongass through annual summer field work.  This research, which supplements that being done by the Forest Service and other agencies, includes monitoring changes in ice packs, glaciers, and plant and animal population. While we hate to see the Tongass negatively impacted by global warming, having good data on these changes is crucial for climate change advocacy work that could ultimately prevent future harm.

 

Invasive Organisms

A healthy and intact forest is the best defense against non-native species; however, human impact through climate change, logging, and introduction of exotic organisms weakens the forest’s natural defenses.  In order to prevent invasive organisms from spreading and threatening native species, SCS conducts monitoring efforts and assists in invasive species eradication projects through the Community Wilderness Stewardship Project.

 

TAKE ACTION!

Do you want to do your part to help protect the Tongass and its communities?  Check out the most recent Action Alerts for immediate steps you can take.  Also consider learning about how you can volunteer, get up to date email alerts, and donate to help SCS achieve out mission of protecting the natural environment of the Tongass while supporting the development of sustainable communities in Southeast Alaska.

 

 

 

Related Posts:

  • Removing Trash to Protect our Treasure

    Removing Trash to Protect our Treasure

      The first 2014 summer Wilderness was a trip to the West Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness area, where we based camped at Baird Island. Here, we conducted visitor use monitoring, surveyed for invasive plants and completed campsite inventories. Additionally, we picked up a lot of beach trash and cached it on the island. During this trip, we also [...]

    Read more →

  • Buffering the Storm: How Salmon Buffers Safeguard Alaskan Fisheries

    Buffering the Storm: How Salmon Buffers Safeguard Alaskan Fisheries

    Do you like wild Alaskan salmon? Then you should also like stream buffers. What exactly is a stream buffer? It’s the area of land on either side of a stream, river or lake that is excluded from logging when the Forest Service designs timber sales. Stream buffers are extremely important because they ensure that old growth [...]

    Read more →

  • British Columbia Mines Threaten Southeast Salmon Runs

    British Columbia Mines Threaten Southeast Salmon Runs

    What do Canadian mines have to do with Alaskan wild salmon? Almost everything. This link became all too apparent on August 4, when a tailings pond breached at Mount Polley mine in British Columbia. Millions of gallons of metal-contaminated water and sand poured out of the tailings pond and into the arteries of the Frasier [...]

    Read more →

  • Revisiting the Genius of the Haida Canoe: Part 4 of a 4 Part Series

    Revisiting the Genius of the Haida Canoe: Part 4 of a 4 Part Series

    Southeast Alaska’s waterways are its highways. Boats and barges are its trains and semi-trucks. For thousands of years, people in this area have lived off the abundant plants, animals and salmon stocks which the coastal temperate rainforest rainforest, today part of the Tongass National Forest, provides. Before the Russians occupied this chain of islands off [...]

    Read more →

  • Supporting Fisheries Research in Alaska

    Supporting Fisheries Research in Alaska

    Good news for the Tongass! This week, the Pacific Northwest Research Station announced it will hire a Research Fisheries Biologist to be stationed in Juneau. Why is this good news? Because it means the Forest Service once again has a fisheries biologist stationed in Alaska. Several years ago, the Forest Service moved a fisheries research position [...]

    Read more →

  • Stand Up to Corporate Influence!

    Stand Up to Corporate Influence!

    This year’s primary election was one for the record books. Financial record books, that is. Over the last few months, Alaskans witnessed the most expensive primary campaign in state history. Where is all this money coming from? Corporations. And not just any corporations – some of the richest corporations on earth. In order to secure [...]

    Read more →

  • Protecting America’s Last Frontier

    Protecting America’s Last Frontier

    Early last month, when the tailings dam at the Mount Polley Mine in British Columbia breached releasing 10 million cubic meters of contaminated water into Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake, southeast Alaskans woke up to the possibility that other BC mines could pose the same threats to southeast Alaskan fisheries. Tailings dams are built to [...]

    Read more →

  • Back to Basics: An Alaskan Wilderness Experience

    Back to Basics: An Alaskan Wilderness Experience

    Almost three months have already gone by since I started my internship with the Sitka Conservation Society, under the supervision of Scott Harris, the Conservation Science Director at SCS. It is now the start of September and I cannot believe how fast time flies by when I am truly enjoying my eye-opening opportunity. It still feels [...]

    Read more →

  • Invasive tunicate still plaguing Whiting Harbor

    Invasive tunicate still plaguing Whiting Harbor

    As published in the Sitka Daily Sentinel on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 Scientists are searching for a method to eradicate the invasive tunicate species that has kept Whiting Harbor closed since 2010. This invasive sea squirt has been found all over the world and can have detrimental effects on marine ecosystems if not controlled. But [...]

    Read more →

  • Group Working to Save Yellow Cedar

    Group Working to Save Yellow Cedar

    As published in the Daily Sitka Sentinel on July 16, 2014 Four environmental groups have filed a petition to make the Alaskan yellow-cedar, an important tree to Tlingit carvers, an endangered species. However, some petitioners believe that the protection might not be enough to save the species. “It’s almost like we’re too late with the [...]

    Read more →

Follow Us
Get Updates
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Newsletter and updates


Take Action Now
Take Action

Blog
Keep up to date on all of the issues. Check out "The Southeaster" Blog.

  • Video: Protecting Our Remote Wildernesses With TRAK Kayaks
  • Living with the Land Radio Episode 5: What’s Jud Kirkness Dreaming About?
  • Removing Trash to Protect our Treasure
  • Buffering the Storm: How Salmon Buffers Safeguard Alaskan Fisheries
  • Living with the Land Episode 4: Ed Gray
Get Involved
Get Involved